California becomes first state to require solar panels on new homes
California has officially become the first state to require all new homes be built with solar panels.
The California Energy Commission passed the measure with a 5-0 vote on Wednesday.
— Erin Ailworth (@ailworth) May 9, 2018
The changes, which would go into effect in 2020, update the building code to require all new homes be equipped with the renewable energy technology.
Homebuilders will have to spend between $8,000 and $12,000 per house, but the commission says it will save homeowners around $80 a month on heating, cooling and lighting bills.
The state is already the nation’s leader in solar power. California law requires that at least half of the state’s electricity come from non-carbon-producing sources by 2030.
The solar power industry provides about 16 percent of California’s electricity and employs more than 86,000 workers, according to The New York Times.
The decision comes as the Golden State is heavily pushing back against Trump administration initiatives focused on revitalizing the fossil fuel and nuclear industries.
President Trump earlier this year introduced a 30 percent tariff on solar panel technology, a move fiercely criticized by U.S. solar companies.
Abigail Ross Hopper, CEO of the Solar Energy Industries Association, called the vote, “historic.”
“This is an undeniably historic decision for the state and the U.S. California has long been our nation’s biggest solar champion, and its mass adoption of solar has generated huge economic and environmental benefits, including bringing tens of billions of dollars of investment into the state,” Hopper said in a statement. “Now, California is taking bold leadership again, recognizing that solar should be as commonplace as the front door that welcomes you home.
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